Many thanks to Dr Peter Brukner for this week’s topic. Peter is one of my main paper finders. He spotted an article, which was published in November 2019, based on women in his home country of Australia. The paper was called “Carbohydrate restriction in midlife is associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes among Australian women: A cohort study” (Ref 1).
Some studies make no sense as soon as you see the title and this study was one of those. Since type 2 diabetes is a condition characterised by the inability to handle carbohydrate, it makes no sense that women who are restricting carbohydrate are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D henceforth).
The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health is an ongoing population study of women in Australia. It is described as nationally representative. It started in 1996, when three cohorts of women were established: the young cohort (born 1973-78); the middle-aged cohort (born 1946-51); and the older cohort (born 1921-26). At the first survey in 1996, the women in these cohorts were aged 18-23, 45-50 and 70-75 years, respectively.
This particular paper looked at women from the 1946-51 cohort only. After the first survey (1996), women were resurveyed in 1998 (survey 2) and every three years thereafter until 2016 (surveys 3-8). The response rate was 90% for survey 2. It dropped in successive surveys until survey 8, which had a 63% response rate.